Getting In: Why Recommendation Letters Matter and “Test Optional” Schools


Host Julie Lythcott-Haims and expert Josh Steckel—a college counselor at the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies and the co-author of Hold Fast to Dreams— answer listener questions about “Why Recommendation Letters Matter”.

The first question is from a parent whose child is applying early to a college that’s “testing optional.” She wonders whether excluding test scores from the application could hurt her daughter’s chances of acceptance. The second question is from a teacher who asks whether recommendation letters are a waste of time.

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